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How COVID-19 Has Changed PPE Supply Chains for Hospitals?

The COVID-19 outbreak has completely changed the way how hospitals looked at their personal protective equipment and other medical equipment inventories. The unique and new scenarios may have a long-term impact on the way some supply chains operate.

This article highlights what are the new challenges faced by healthcare systems due to the COVID-19 pandemic and how can they overcome them to provide continued healthcare service to patients and ensure an adequate supply of PPE.

Challenges Faced by Hospitals during COVID-19

Since the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is spread primarily through droplets in the air, PPE is a must to protect healthcare workers and other patients from getting infected from this respiratory disease. Therefore, healthcare facilities worldwide require more PPE from personal protective equipment companies and bulk PPE suppliers. This has pushed well beyond the normal capacity of personal protective equipment companies and bulk PPE suppliers.

That compelled hospitals to look for other sources of PPE supplies. Many hospitals took for granted that products manufactured overseas were always available, while others turned a more critical eye toward the entire value-chain. Therefore, as per the current and future scenarios, prioritizing local sourcing, both distributing and manufacturing, is crucial to simplify product shipping routes and ensure there is adequate stock of PPE even during the crisis.

How Hospitals Should Prepare

Seeing the rising demand for PPE kits worldwide, hospitals should quickly rail their resources to get valuable PPE to high-demanding areas. Hospitals should also collaborate with other healthcare centers and public health authorities to make sure they have all the necessary PPE and help solve problems arising due to the pandemic. Hospitals should also consider sharing PPE kits with other hospitals in need. Besides, they should partner with authorized personal protective equipment companies and bulk PPE suppliers to ensure an adequate supply of PPE and other medical supplies. Further, hospitals should enforce policies on the proper use of PPE, especially face masks, gloves, and isolation gowns, train them on how to use and disinfect PPE, restrict movement in the healthcare setting, and implement other strategies critical to the preservation and extended use of PPE.

Hospitals can also create a centralized warehouse for all important inventories, which will bring enhanced visibility, accountability, and security. Within the warehouse, the healthcare systems can set up a drive-up donation for anyone to donate sealed face masks, gloves, and other equipment.

PPE Supply in the Future

At some healthcare centers, the COVID-19 pandemic introduced a new, unique, and better process for tracking and storing all PPE and medical equipment. PPE supply chain workers also need to develop a strict criteria list to scrutinize new personal protective equipment companies and bulk PPE suppliers who could supply PPE to the health facilities. These are some of the smaller and practical changes that healthcare systems likely will continue to use in the future.

By and large, hospitals need to focus on developing a local supply chain in the future. Healthcare centers need to take a more holistic, strategic approach to medical supply chain management that will closely track medical inventory and form a long-term relationship with personal protective equipment companies and bulk PPE suppliers, whether they are local or offshore.

The COVID-19 has brought a notable change in the consumption patterns in hospitals, as standards of care change, and hospitals should be prepared for new guidelines and recommendations. These are some of the things that shape the focus of PPE supply chains and allow healthcare systems to be better prepared in the future.

Conclusion

The outbreak of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the face of the healthcare systems and the way they used to manage the medical equipment earlier. Hospitals are adopting preventive measures to ensure adequate stock of PPE and other medical equipment.

Co-Defend realizes the effects of the shortage of PPE supplies to healthcare centers, and therefore, ensures an optimized supply-chain to make sure there is an adequate supply of PPE to healthcare facilities. It directly connects people with a network of the most trusted bulk PPE suppliers who only sell FDA-approved PPE including isolation gowns, gloves, face masks, N95 respirators, and other medical supplies. So, if you’re looking for high-quality, medical-grade PPE, Co-Defend is the premier destination for all healthcare centers and people.

FAQs

Q.1. When should PPE be used?

Ans. All medical staff, infected or suspected patients, and visitors should use PPE when there will be contact with bodily fluid, blood, or respiratory secretions.

Q.2. How do you ensure the quality of the PPE?

Ans. We connect you with only authorized personal protective equipment companies and bulk PPE suppliers who sell only FDA-approved PPE. We make sure all the products undergo extensive PPE testing including biological resistance testing, chemical resistance testing, protective ensemble testing, impact protection testing, protective hand and footwear testing, and fall arrest equipment testing to ensure the products are of high-quality and damage-free.

Q.3. Can PPE be cleaned and reused?

Ans. You may reuse face masks and N95 respirators until they are visibly dirty, damaged, or difficult to breathe through them. Be cautious about removing and storing your mask and respirator when not in use. Don’t forget to practice hand hygiene before donning and doffing to minimize contaminating the device.

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